CCF, MCF and Therms are all ways of measuring natural gas. Here’s how to understand the difference between them, how to convert to each type of unit, and why it matters when shopping for natural gas.
Figuring out CCF vs. MCF vs. therm may seem like a confusing proposition, but when you know the lingo of any business, it’s easier to figure out how to take advantage of any bargains and tips they may offer.
What do CCF, MCF and Therms measure?
CCF, MCF and Therms are all ways to measure natural gas.
MCF and CCF are volumetric measurements of natural gas.
The CF in this measurement stands for cubic feet. The “C” in CCF stands for the roman number for 100. So “CCF” means 100 cubic feet of natural gas. The “M” in MCF stands for Roman numeral for 1,000. So “MCF” means 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas.
Therms measure the energy output of a unit of gas.
One therm is the amount of energy or heat equivalent to 100,000 BTU, or British Thermal Units.
One BTU is the amount of heat it would take to raise the temperature in one pound of water by one degree Farenheit. Natural gas is traded on the wholesale markets as MMBtu, or million BTUs.
How are CCF, MCF and Therms Units Used?
All of these units of measurement are used by various utility companies to measure the amount of gas sold to their customers.
The therm is the industry standard used by almost all natural gas providers across the country.
In some parts of the country, gas companies have traditionally used CCF and MCF as their unit of measurement. This didn’t affect the price of their gas. It is simply a different way for them to measure, much like the imperial vs. metric system.
Within your natural gas utility market, all natural gas suppliers will show their price the same way. All suppliers will sell either therms, CCFs or MCFs. That makes it easy to compare natural gas rates across gas companies.
How to Convert Between Units of Gas
It is possible, with a little bit of math, to convert between one form of measurement and another.
If you want quick math, it’s generally accepted that burning 100 cubic feet of natural gas (1 CCF) is the energy equivalent of burning one therm of gas. But the reality is that number is based on the efficiency or “heat content” of the natural gas.
The Energy Information Administration measures the U.S. annual average heat content of natural gas delivered to consumers at 1,037 British Thermal Units (BTU) per cubic foot (CF).
So if you want the true conversion, it’s that 100 cubic feet (1 CCF) of natural gas equals 103,700 Btu, or 1.037 therms.
Which means that one thousand cubic feet (1 MCF) of natural gas equals 1.037 MMBtu, or 10.37 therms.
Here’s how to convert between different unit measurements and prices of natural gas:
- $ per Ccf divided by 1.037 equals $ per therm
- $ per therm multiplied by 1.037 equals $ per Ccf
- $ per Mcf divided by 1.037 equals $ per MMBtu
- $ per Mcf divided by 10.37 equals $ per therm
- $ per MMBtu multiplied by 1.037 equals $ per Mcf
- $ per therm multiplied by 10.37 equals $ per Mcf
Here’s how to convert MCF to CCF and vice versa:
A CCF is 100 cubic feet of gas. An MCF is 1,000 cubic fee of gas.
- To convert from MCF to CCF, multiply MCF by 10.
- To convert CCF to MCF, divide CCF by 10.